writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle

Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

November 2, 2010
Posted in: Dogs | Reading Time: 4 minutes

This morning I woke up and found the dogs downstairs reading the local news. They didn't look too pleased. Let me take that back. Juno didn't look pleased. Loki, well, he just looked confused.

"Hey Mom. Did you see this morning's '24 Heures'?"

Why No Juno, I haven't. Why the long face?


"Poppy's in the paper."

When Expatriates Take Their First Steps in Vaud

Oh! How exciting Juno! Thank you for pointing it out for me!

"Poppy's in the paper Princess? I don't get it. I don't smell Poppy. And that paper doesn't look big enough to hold Poppy..."

"Sigh. Not that kind of 'in' Doofus. Anyway, I'm not pleased with the story."

"Princess, it doesn't taste like Poppy either."

"Hush up Big Boy. It says here that Poppy said that he came to Switzerland to ride bikes through the vineyards.

"It says nothing about "les chiens" or "le hoooskie."

"Princess, I keep tasting and tasting this and I still don't get a sense for Poppy in this paper."

"Must I spell everything out for you Big Boy? Poppy told all of Switzerland that he came here for the cycling!"

Loosely translated:

Between China and the Local Vineyard
Mr. Wild Dingo is marketing director for the company producing microscopic elements for electronic chips, Applied Materials, in Cheseaux sur-Lausanne. He travels extensively in Europe and in China. This American from Silicon Valley arrived in June with a fortunate expatriate contract that includes housing and 'relocation' services. With just a phone call he gets answers to his questions, like how to fill his oil tank (in the house*). "I learned that there was a label on the tank with a telephone number of the supplier. And finally the person I got on the line spoke perfect English." Mr. Wild Dingo has a three-year contract. "My wife and I are going to enjoy learning French and riding bicycles in the beautiful vineyards located just two minutes from our house in Tolochenaz. There is nothing like it the United States. Everything is miles away. "

"I'd like to also point out Mom, that our house in California is next door to a vineyard. I mean, what was Poppy smoking when he did this interview?"

"Princess we should tell Poppy that smoking is bad for his health."


"When he sold me on this move to Switzerland, he promised me many snowy hikes in the Alps and snowshoeing adventures. But did he mention les chiens? No! With no snow yet on the the ground, I'm beginning to think he sold me a wooden nickle."

"But I don't see any wooden nickles around here Princess..."

Darn. Leave it to the French Swiss to tick off my Husky. Obviously the meaning was lost in translation. Firstly, our home in California sits next to many vineyards, but I think Mr. Wild Dingo meant that in California, if you live in town, to ride near a vineyard, it's miles away. Whereas where we live here in Tolochenaz, we live very close to a town but very close to beautiful riding trails through the vineyards. In addition, in California one cannot ride or walk through the vineyards like we do here:

It feels like we're walking through someone's backyard or personal farm, but the sign just before this path showed it was a pedestrian path.

It's true. We don't get the privelege of walking through the farmlands like this in the States. In CH, there are thousands of miles of public walking trails (with almost nobody on them) that wind through the vineyards or the farms.

"Ya? Well that doesn't explain the lack of comments about 'les chiens' or 'le hoooskie,' Mom."

That's because, secondly, the reporter left out the most important reason why we came here: to entertain our Husky of course! As if there would be any other reason to come to Switzerland. Mr. Wild Dingo assured me he told the reporter many stories of the dogs and the newly installed fence.  But leave it to the Swiss to find excitement in us figuring out how to call to get our oil tank filled.

"Well as long as that's clear, I suppose I can let this slide. But let the record show I plan to register a complaint with that reporter. After all, he left out the most important facts."

"Oh my Dawg, Princess! I finally see where Poppy is! He's so small. And flat! What happened to my Poppy?"

"Oh Criminy Big Boy! Is your brain really as holey as the cheese they make here?"

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18 comments on “Lost in Translation”

  1. If that had been Jack, there would not have been a newspaper to read! 🙂 Unless of course you could read a lot of tiny pieces that you found in about 4 different rooms.

    It must be a Lab thing 🙂

  2. wooo your hu'dad is famous already, how super cool is that. Expect celebrity status now 🙂 Great photos Juno and Loki, thanks for explaining the story to us.


  3. hahahah! I love this! Juno and Loki are quite the pair.
    And I find it funny the article makes it look like, "this stoopid American needs to call someone else to figure out how to put oil in his car."

  4. Hey Juno and Loki

    Please tell your mom that the Missus has received her email and will reply ASAP.

    Thanks for the newspaper article translation. We may not understand but we certainly think that your Dad looks great in the picture!


  5. @Brooke & Darwin: you pointed out another thing lost in translation! The article translates "oil tank" but it's really for the home, not the car! Thanks for catching that!

  6. Mom was thrilled that she still had enough of her French to be able to read that newspaper article.

    Aside - 6th pic down - just gotta love the expression on each of the pup's faces:)

    So where IS the snow? All we see is vineyards.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  7. So, when will they interWOO the real brains behind The New Swiss Family Dingo?

    PeeEssWoo: Dear Loki: that would be JUNO BTW!

  8. Oh, I'm dying here reading the story with the expressions on Juno's face! I think the Danskos' life expectancy just went way down for some reason! Juno, apparently the Swiss just don't get the splendor of les chiens!

  9. You caught some precious expressions on the two dogs faces that really made me chuckle. They do have a point - how is filling an oil tank more interesting than your brilliant chiens?

  10. Bonjour - or bon soir, as the case may be. We're new to the dog-blog world and we're enjoying just visting around. Your mom did an excellent job capturing your facial expressions as you read that off-target article, especially Juno's justified sneer in pic.#6. What could be more interesting than the international adventures of two well-educated American canines travelling with their well-trained staff? Looks like journalistic standards are slipping everywhere. And Juno, we are most impressed with your bi-lingual abilities! Not to mention your literacy. We're still at the "rip it up and spread the pieces all over" stage of our relationship with newspapers.

    Jed & Abby

  11. Juno, no pup can figure out why bipeds do, say, or write what they do. Obviously they are quickly led astray by immaterial minutia. just sayin'...


  12. Loki! I am worried too! Mr. Wild Dingo got trapped in flat land. You have to save him. As for those Swiss reporters... clearly one short of a six pack. How could they not mention you and the princess in that entire article? What a waste.


    P.S. Momma says, "awesome post."

  13. Juno and Loki
    Okay tell me Juno.. why wouldn't Loki's head be made of cheese if he's all crackah! I mean it's the pawfect combo... and goes great with vino.


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